Bean has a shoe fetish. I'm hoping that she won't wind up on the internet in twenty years making videos of her feet to pay for college. As of now, her shoe fetish is innocent enough and involves playing dress up in Mama's or Dada's shoes. It also means that she is extremely opinionated about what kind of footwear she wears all the time.
Since Bean is on the cusp of two, her feet are still relatively small, but she has these crazy monkey toes like her mom. Her toes are freakishly long and I have no doubt that she will be able to grasp items with her toes and hang on the monkey bars like a wily chimpanzee when the time comes. For right now, she enjoys taking off her shoes and socks whenever she is in the car and pulling her leg up along side her head like Nadia Comaneci and jamming her big toe in her mouth. She doesn't suck on it. She only does this as silent protest against being in the car.
When she's not removing her shoes in the car, she is constantly putting on different shoes in our house. I hear, "Mamma! Shoe!" in her soft voice by the closet and I know 'dress up' time is coming. She will find her dad's shoes and try to stomp around in them, but she never gets more than three feet because his shoes are about the size of her legs and weigh probably about a quarter of her body weight. Then she seeks out my shoes. If we are up in my bedroom, she will pull out a pair of my heels and casually strut around far better than her own Mama can strut. She slides in the heels more than actually walks and she demonstrates surprisingly good posture. What strikes me most is that I never wear heels, and yet she can find them in my closet and wears them like a young Carrie Bradshaw.
Finding the right shoe in the morning can take five minutes or fifteen. More often than not, the shoes that I pick out (and the ones that actually go with her outfit) are not the shoes Bean wants to wear. Bean prefers her rain boots to nearly all other shoes, followed closely by her ruby red sparkly Dorothy shoes that almost always make her trip. Bean will wear her rain boots in the nude, in her diaper, in her tutu or in a pair of jeans. She insists on putting them on herself, which starts with her standing each boot up, shoulder length apart. Then she tries (almost always unsuccessfully) to place her foot in her boot while standing up which inevitably ends with her landing on her bum. Then she will carry her boots over to a wall, chair or Mama's leg and lean ever so slightly against her makeshift support and step into one boot at a time. After Bean has achieved boot victory, she will start stomping around the house. Picture a very tiny sumo wrestler with her legs slightly splayed apart. This is how most mornings begin and how most days end.
Today, she declined the boots, preferring to wear brown lace-up Converse sneakers. She spent some time playfully grabbing at the laces, but then she was off stomping and shaking her butt in these shoes too. Ultimately, it doesn't matter what she wears. What I'm learning is that this is just the beginning of Bean voicing her demands and as adorable as it is to watch a two-year old stomp around naked in boots, it also means that my baby is growing up.